The start of the high school football season has finally arrived for all 10 high schools in Rutherford County.
Local prep football fans will be able to watch games Thursday through Sunday this season. Week 0 kicks off on Thursday with Smyrna hosting North Rutherford rival La Vergne on Thursday. The week ends when Blackman hosts Oakland on national television at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Here is a look at the start of football season from A to Z.
A — Artavious Collier. The Riverdale junior running back will be a featured back for the Warriors this season.
B — Ben Wells. The Riverdale senior linebacker is a three-year starter for the Warriors. He had a team-high 92 tackles in 2013.
C — Cynterius Lyons. The Stewarts Creek junior led the Red Hawks in receiving a year ago in the school’s first season. He will also play in the secondary.
D — Defense. Oakland returns eight starters off a team that gave up just 8.8 points a game a year ago.
E — ESPN2. The world wide leader in sports will be in Murfreesboro on Sunday to televise the Oakland-Blackman season opener at The Inferno.
F — Fins up. Oakland’s defensive players often put their hand to their helmet displaying a sign for sharks in the water after a big defensive play. The idea came from junior defensive tackle Ty Nix.
G — Gold Ball. Every team in the state are playing for a chance to win the state championship trophy.
H — Howse, Greedy. The Siegel junior is finally healthy after sustaining a knee injury during his junior year. He’ll be a running back and safety this season.
I — Interceptions. MTCS defensive back Trey Hickey had a county-best eight interceptions a year ago for the Cougars.
J — Jauan Jennings. The Blackman senior quarterback and Tennessee commitment had more than 2,200 total yards of offense in 2013.
K — Kicker. Sophomore Jacob Smith takes over the placekicking duties for Harrison Reed at Siegel. Reed was a three-time District 7-AAA Special Teams MVP.
L — Linemen. Most Friday nights the game will be won in the trenches.
M — Merritt, James. The Eagleville offensive lineman is the reigning District 9-A Lineman MVP a year ago.
N — No-huddle. MTCS first-year coach Fred Shambaugh has spead up the Cougars’s spread this season.
O — Offense. Three teams in District 7-AAA — Oakland, Riverdale and Smyrna — have changed their offenses. Riverdale and Smyrna have gone to a read-option offense. Oakland will go to a shotgun formation.
P — Pancake blocks. Tennessee commitment Jack Jones, who was Oakland’s first Mr. Football winner in 2013, had 60 pancake blocks last season..
Q — Quin Jernighan and Quen Hardy. Jernighan is the leading receiver returning from a year ago with 800 yards. Hardy is Blackman’s leading receiver.
R — Running back. — Blackman senior Charlie Davidson is the county’s leading rusher returning after running for 996 yards a year ago for the Blaze.
S — Student sections. They are loud and extremely supportive of their teams. And, they have their own nicknames, such as the Siegel Nation, Oakland Blue Army, La Vergne Blue Crew and Smyrna’s Purple Dynasty.
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T — Twins. Siegel brothers Andrew and Andre Knox return for their final season with the Stars this season. Both are running backs.
U — Undefeated. There have been four Rutherford County undefeated teams in the regular season since 2011. Oakland accomplished the feat in 2013. Siegel did it in 2012. Eagleville and Riverdale both did it in 2011.
V — Videoboard — Oakland will unveil the first videoboard among the high schools this season.
W — Winn, Justin. The MTCS second-year quarterback leads the Cougars’ new uptempo, spread offense.
X — Xylophone. Rutherford County’s bands put on outstanding halftime shows, with all using a xylophone.
Y — Youth. Look for sophomores to have a key role for several teams this year. The list of sophomores include Marqwell Odom at Riverdale, Maleik Gray at La Vergne, Casey Perkins at Smyrna, JaCoby Stevens at Oakland, Jacob Smith at Siegel and Anthony Ochoa at Blackman.
Z — Z-plan. This marks the final year of the TSSAA’s confusing playoff plan. There will be a Super 6 league next year with the state’s largest 32 schools automatically reaching the Class 6A playoffs.
Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.
Week 0 Schedule
(All games at 7 p.m. unless noted)
La Vergne at Smyrna*
Mt. Pleasant at Eagleville
Riverdale at Siegel*
Ravenwood at Stewarts Creek
MTCS at Cannon Co.**
Monroe Acad. vs. Lancaster Chr. at Smyrna Middle
Oakland at Blackman***
*WGNS (1450-AM, 100.5-FM, 101.9-FM)
**WBRY (1540-AM, 96.7-FM)
***ESPN2, WGNS (1450-AM, 100.5-FM, 101.9-FM)
Rutherford County Football Jamboree Friday, August 15, 2014 at Smyrna High School.